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GM lowered some loan rates and reported layoffs.

General Motors lowered its discount financing rates on short-term loans for some of its car and truck lines. But the rates, ranging from 5.9% to 6.9%, aren’t being offered on the car loans that most consumers use--those paid off over four years. Rates on four-year loans remain unchanged at 8.9% and 9.9%. In addition, GM said it will shut its Lakewood, Ga., plant for a week starting May 5, idling 3,000 workers. Lakewood, which builds slow-selling Chevrolet Chevette and Pontiac 1000 subcompacts, was closed for a week in March. The auto maker also will shutter its Norwood, Ohio, plant, which builds Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebirds, for two weeks starting May 5 and will lay off 3,600 employees there.


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